Is our (mainstream american, i suppose) definition of love a bad idea?

Let me give you a few examples of what passes for love in this culture, from what i have seen.
A man meets a woman who is physically attractive who he barely knows. He falls in love with her even though she is a stranger, and his love is probably nothing more than him attempting to cover/compensate for his own flaws by using another person as a crutch (who he wouldn’t love if she weren’t pretty btw).
Someone goes to church to pray to a god who will torture them for all eternity if they disobey his rules, even though he could just as easily guide them in the right direction instead.
Doesn’t it seem like love is/has become a very conditional reward, instead of a nurturing emotion? what happened to family love, or love for your pets, or love for knowledge? Is using attractive strangers of the opposite sex as a crutch or the concern of a god who will torture you mercilessly if you disobey what love is now? It reminds me of what George Carlin once said (the god love at least)

"Religion has convinced people that there is an invisible man living in the sky, who watches everything you do for every minute of every day.

And the invisible man has a list of ten specific things that he doesn’t want you to do.

If you do any of these things, he will send you to a special place of burning and fire and smoke and anguish for you to live forever and suffer and burn and scream until the end of time.

But he loves you."
I hate country music, but at least country music has some songs about love for the singers kids. For every 1 song about loving your family, there are 40 about loving someone of the opposite sex. Some may argue that family, children & the opposite sex are the same thing, and i agree (sometimes). WHen a person has a mature, responsible nurturing love for a member of the opposite sex i can agree with that. But most ‘love’ today is sexual lust or an attempt to compensate for your own flaws by using another person as a crutch.

Is this damaging our culture, that this is supposed to be our goal in interpersonal relationships? I would support a return to love not as a sign of sexual co-dependence, but as a nurturing emotion. Love for pets, or for family (not attractive strangers, but family), love for a protective god (even though i’m an atheist), love for hobbies, love for friends.

One time, when i was younger, i did something stupid and ended up in the ER with a condition that had a 14% fatality rate. My dad went with me to the hospital, and he sat by my bed for 4 hours with no TV or radio. I guess it sounds weird, but for him to just sit beside me, staring at the walls was love. He didn’t have to do that, but he did because he was worried about me. Instead of portraying that as a good example of love, you now have J-Lo flirting with strange men or a god who will torture you forever if you disobey him.
This argument is probalby full of holes, as i will see tomorrow when i check replies. Ah well.

Depends on what you mean by “love”

Unfortunately, English has one word to represent a plethora of ideas and images. Greek has 4, iirc.

Which, of course, doesn’t answer the OP very well. But, you did seem to ramble a bit. Not a correction, just an observation.

What IS the question?

What makes you think that “most ‘love’ today is sexual lust or an attempt to compensate for our own flaws by using another person as a crutch”?

I’m exaggerating to make a point.

PS, you misspelled Earl of sandwich

I guess I can’t do anything right. Are you sure it’s spelled with no “h”? It’s a good thing I wasn’t the Duke of Marlborough. I can’t even pronounce that one.

I’ve always thought English needed more words for love. Let’s import some from the Greeks, if people KNEW what “I love you” meant more specifically, I’m sure there’d be a lot less broken hearts.

There needs to be a specifically coined word for “to like someone in a romantic, more than a friend kind of way, but not in a life time commitment kind of way”… damnit, I’m going to invent that word and do this country a lot of good!